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Ashley Must Keep His Promises This Time Around – That’s The Problem

Newcastle fans would understand it if Rafa Benitez walked away from the club because he could not get an agreement from owner Mike Ashley.

Ashley has given Rafa almost nothing to spend over the last three transfer windows.

But that hasn’t stopped the manager from finishing in first place in the Championship last year and then finishing in 10th place this first season back in the Premier League.

Just think where we could be if Ashley had invested some of Newcastle’s money on new players.

Phil Thompson – fans would understand if Rafa walked

And that 10th placed finish – the second-best finish in Ashley’s 11-year reign at the club – garnered a fabulous £123M from the Premier League.

Not sure what to say about that other than “thank you very much.”

Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson knows Rafa well, and believes Geordie fans would understand if Rafa left St. James’ Park because of a continued lack of support from Mike Ashley.

And Rafa wants everything written down because Ashley reneged on his promises of last summer when he was going to give Rafa “every last penny the club made.”

And on Sunday Ashley said in his statement he would “continue to give Rafa every penny the club made.”

That has such a hollow ring to it and a major reason why Benitez doesn’t trust Ashley and that’s part of the problem in these current negotiations.

This is what Phil Thompson told Sky Sports.

“The priority has to be to convince Rafael Benitez to stay because even the fans would understand it if he walked away due to lack of funding again.”

“They can’t make assurances to him again and not back it up because the biggest danger for the club is him walking away.”

The Express are reporting that Benitez is open to moving to West Ham if the east London club give him £100M transfer funds and total control on transfers.

And a £6M/year contract which is what he gets at Newcastle.

Phil Thompson is right when he says Newcastle must keep the former Liverpool manager for the upcoming 2018/2019 season.

If we lose Rafa maybe Alan Pardew could (possibly) be enticed back to Newcastle – after all he would come a lot cheaper than Benitez.

Just kidding of course – but how many managers would want to join Newcastle with their hands tied behind their backs by Ashley.

Steve McClaren  comes to mind.

The point is we can never get anybody as good as Rafa Benitez.

Comments welcome.

124 comments so far

  • Bambams

    May 18, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #1


    Don’t get personal….

    Fella I can’t recall exactly what McLaren got but in my opinion 80 million would be nice – I am not expecting miracles.

    I thought Sissoko payment was 6 million per year and we are due to get about 125 million give or take

    Which still leaves us a bit in the bank (I should of added, which will pay towards wages)

    My bad….


  • ShirebrookToon

    May 18, 2018 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #2

    This shits getting boring now. If Rafa was going to go he would have by now. He’s only talking to one club and that’s Newcastle United. Everything else is just lazy made up journo bollox!

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #3

    No evidence Ashley reneged on his promises. Our net spend last season was 30 million, first year back after relegation. Was that not every last penny? Rafa needs to know what his budget is, and the freedom to spend it as he wishes, but there is little reason to think he won’t be backed as promised.

  • kc2012

    May 18, 2018 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #4

    Why are people even still talking about West Ham when dozens of reports last Night stated that Pellegrini has already agreed to become their manager including official reports from Chile. Like most people I’m getting bored of the whole thing and even though I don’t really blame him I’m actually getting bored of Rafa moaning about money. Mike Ashley will never change and he knows it so why doesn’t he just get his agent to contact a few bigger clubs (probably already has) and walk. He knew what he was up against in January so why would anything change now. I’d be very surprised if Ashley’s men haven’t already began looking for our next manager, that way we can all just get on with it and enjoy a summer of £30m spent on a few £6-8m rated players. Negative I know but I can’t see it any other way to be honest. Hope I’m very wrong.

  • Munster Mag

    May 18, 2018 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #5

    Kc…. Off you trot! Nicky u worry me…

  • kc2012

    May 18, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #6

    Munster mug….Who are you. Mug

  • Jib

    May 18, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #7

    I’ve been racking my brains to think of an example of a
    PL footy club with a manager who had total free rein
    without any checks or balance.
    I eventually came up with one
    SUNLUN !!!
    That went well didn’t it ?

  • Optimistic Panda

    May 18, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #8

    Does the club still have the £30m it claimed it had put to one side to pay for the training ground that still hasn’t appeared?

  • bettyswallocks

    May 18, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #9

    The discrepancy is obviously what Ashley perceives as the actual disposable profit available for transfers and what Rafa has in his mind. Ashley will expect all bills paid etc etc etc before he agrees to a surplus for transfers and then of course he will insist on having the final say to ensure value for money is achieved etc etc etc.

  • Optimistic Panda

    May 18, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #10


    Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger. Is two ok

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #11

    Yes, you have my sympathies Munster. I’ve apparently set the cat upon the odd pigeon by daring to believe that Rafa will be backed as promised. Bit of a worry me.

  • dig-n-dig22

    May 18, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #12

    If Rafa does leave, then appointing Pardew as manager again wouldn’t be such a bad idea,Pardew could propel us back to the Championship very quickly, we could retain Pardew to guide us into league 1, then hopefully job done,Ashley fcuk’s off, 2 derby games with the Scum but best of all, we get our club back/SARC

  • Jib

    May 18, 2018 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #13

    Optimistic Panda what are you even doing on a footy blog?

    Sir Alex had Ed Woodward constantly breathing down his neck
    Equally Arsene Wenger with Ivan Gazidis

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #14

    Betty, I agree, but Ashley has stated Rafa can spend as he wishes, assuming the caveat that the monie’s there. So if he insists “on having the final say to ensure value for money is achieved etc etc etc”, he will be very clearly reneging on a publicly stated commitment at the very first turn. I think Rafa would have to f#ck up a few times before Ashley would step in and clip his wings.

  • lochinvar

    May 18, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #15

    The BBC are only just getting round to reporting that the Spammers are interested in talking to Pellegrini. Bit late with that chaps.
    Think the’ve left the kids in charge while the overpaid full timers take an early prawn lunch on expenses before taking up their posts in the hospitality tents in time for the Royal Wedding.

    A few classes quotes on their HYS apparently from Spam fans.

    “It would be nice if WHU did their work without “a source” contacting the media. Basically it’s DS or his kid. Any credibility WHU had, they eroded yonks ago. Any manager worth his salt won’t – or shouldn’t – come anywhere near the club. And WHU is the team I support”

    “Not exactly a manager to build for the future with. I wouldn’t be excited if i was a West Ham fan ”

    “Could regret not keeping Moyes”

    “Why cant people at my club just keep their mouths shut until a deal is done, when it doesn’t happen they just look ridiculous.No wonder we are a laughing stock.”

    What’s alarming is that Ellis Short and Goldilocks and Sullivan have started to make Ashley look somewhat more appealing. Well not appealing but by comparison certainly better than they are.

    And there’s mention of betting being suspended on the appointment – is that right ? That would suggest the’ve got Pellegrini lined up for Monday.

    Has Dunrvaka signed ? – that would be a good start to the weekend

  • Rotonda heights

    May 18, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #16

    The ashley apologist list is growing or has Jib created another multiple. Ash is a pathological liar (proven in court) who hasn’t even the courtesy to turn up at our final home game or grant his manager a face to face meeting while negotiations on anew contract have rumbled on for weeks. What tangible change in Ash’s policy has there been. A greedy man who has now made a realistic sale impossible whilst still harbouring no personal ambition for the club, yet persisting in cutting off any marketing revenues to help it. A charmless self serving oaf. Maybe some on here can empathise and identify with that.

  • magscar

    May 18, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #17

    I do wish posters wouldn’t bite quite so easily at what the press and Richard Keys say /think. As Bobby has said the press and pundits have had Rafa out the door ever since he got here and don’t rate us for some reason.

    I take great comfort from the fact that Rafa is still here and talking, So the talks are dragging on – well both sides believe there is a lot at stake and there is a gap between their ambition/approach. Rarely will owners and managers see eye to eye on everrything. After all Owners generally outlast their managers and it is rare if not unknown for even any top club to give 100% control to a manager and I include Man City Chelsae and Man U in that.

    Successful clubs generally find an agreement that works for them and it is clear that this is very difficult for us with Ashley here but that is not to say impossible. Rafa clearly wants to be here and develop what he has started and I believe there is nothing out there likely to be offered to him that would entice him away IF he can get enough to ensure he continues with his project. He has invested much in this project and whilst there are still massve problems he has to have been encouraged by what he has achieved so far notwithstanding lack of as much budget and control as he would prefer.

    Likes of Arsenal will be a poisoned chalice for next manager and WHU Leicester and Everton ignoring other problems would mean starting a new project all over again for him. Foreign clubs present the same problem as before – he prefers to be nearer family and doesn’t want to uproot .

    As long as Rafa believes he can keep this project on track he will look to agree an extension. If an impasse so great that he believes the project is fatally affected then he may walk or just see out final year.

    Neither the club nor Rafa give any real detail away although neither are slow to use Press as they see fit to bolster their position – not unusual . In WH case neither have sought to deny story. Rafa because it will help his negotiations and club because they generally don’t comment on speculation including transfers. Bear in mind few of our transfers even before Rafa were conducted through press.

    The discussions will be complex and may include say another buy out clause for Rafa which he may not want as well as many thing invisible to us and press. For those who point at Brighton’s quick resolution of Hughton’s contract as an example of how it works I can only say don’t be so naive- it simply is not the same. – pretty straightforward for both parties. He has done a good job in keeping them up but is unlikely to better that job. On the other hand I wonder what position is with other promoted side – will Wagner so easily sign a contract at Huddersfield. Wagner will be wanted by established sides and he can do better than them ( at least for next job) so I expect that would be a more challenging negotiation.

    I remain happy to leave the discussions to progress and currently see no reason not to expect them to be resolved to the extent Rafa stays for at least the remaining year and hopefully for longer. Sooner the better of course for everyone 🙂

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #18

    Nicky – evidence comes in many forms. You would be right that we don’t know exactly what the discussions and promises were last summer but to say that there is no evidence when Rafa was clearly alluding to issues last summer is a strange one.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 18, 2018 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #19

    Well Mcclaren either got £80m because we had a £48m cash balance (that’s a fact) and we somehow financed the other £32m from projected profits of next season in a bid to stay in the PL with the new TV deal – that’s what I think happened – or ‘somebody’ (read Ashley) put in that £32m.

    No other explanations make sense and either one doesn’t reflect bad on Ashley. He either adhered to the policy or put money in, only problem was the plank in the managerial position.

    Some people take all money generated as all profit and forget the expenditure part.

    £50-60m profit makes sense given available info and what we can extrapolate from it.

  • Optimistic Panda

    May 18, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #20


    Ed did such a good job at curbing Ferguson’s spending didn’t he.

    Keep posting a 100 times a day, you may strike lucky and get one or two near the mark.

    Stick to what you know best, racism homophobia and taking the p out of people with mental health issues whilst enjoying your white lightning.

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #21

    Accounts are filed- details on nufc website – debt at 144 million

  • lochinvar

    May 18, 2018 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #22

    “West Ham – get an athletics coach to go with the athletics stadium…”

    (borrowed from elsewhere but must have some Geordie DNA)

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #23

    How so though Offkey? I think Betty’s take on this #9 is very likely. I think Rafa didn’t know exactly what he had to spend and should have been told, was caught out a little by the increase in transfer fees, couldn’t get a few out to generate some extra funds, and then sought a bit of help from Ashley who wouldn’t budge. Maybe he should have, not handled very well perhaps, but I don’t see the evidence that he reneged.

  • neverwin

    May 18, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #24

    Whilst I dont expect Rafa to simply jump in and sign contract why does everything to do with NUFC always have to be so effing drawn out. It is the same with transfers – they go on forever. So unprofessional.
    Wish I knew answers – I always try and see both sides to an argument but always seems to me that Charnley etc are out of their depth regarding .football matters and that somewhere along the line a love of their club should be felt.

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #25

    Nicky but he said it

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #26

    said what?

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #27

    Promises not being kept

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #28

    Said you’ve got this much, and didn’t deliver? I don’t see the evidence of that.

  • G

    May 18, 2018 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #29

    £144M debt for a Prem club that has had 2 recent relegations on the cards actually isn’t bad. Particularly seeing as we were paying prem wages to a lot of the squad last year in the Champo. Is that figure from a concise set of accounts or the full accruals?

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #30

    It is evidence he reneged, on whatever the promises were.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 18, 2018 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #31

    Debt has stayed pretty much stable. Non-story.

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #32

    I got it off nufc website – have a look

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #33

    Non story of what? We were discussing debt the other day and did not have figures so I shared them. Wow

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #34

    I think the press talk about broken promises. I don’t remember reading a direct quote from Rafa about broken promises. He talks about doing things right, which I take as sometimes a criticism of Ashley’s refusal to help out with a loan against future earnings.

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #35

    I realise why I rarely respond now.

  • Offkey

    May 18, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #36

    Nicky he said it, google it I can’t be bothered

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 18, 2018 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #37

    I just did and can’t find anything directly attributed to Rafa about broken promises. I found something on the Mag, but they were clearly editorialising, no direct quote. Post it and I’ll stand corrected.

  • WLtoon

    May 18, 2018 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #38

    Any Nufc fans who say the bookies rarely get it wrong will be happy to know that Pellegrini is 1/6 to get the West Ham job. Time to relax me thinks

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 18, 2018 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #39

    Ok, just seen the accounts here – https://www.nufc.co.uk/news/latest-news/accounts-year-ending-30-june-2017

    Now there’s something that doesn’t add up to me. The wage-bill rising by nearly £50m after relegation, even taking into account promotion bonuses cited in the report. VERY hard to believe.

    No agenda here other than truth and I’d love to have that one fleshed out. Makes no sense.

    Colo (highest earner), Gini, Sissoko, Townsend, Janmaat, Thauvin amongst others left and we signed mainly young players, journeymen and players on the fringe of other clubs.

    If anything I’d have expected a slight drop in the wage bill.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 18, 2018 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #40


    Why not post the link you lazy git!


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